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The Armenians and their plateau have been subject to various invasions.
They witnessed Alexander the Great's expeditions toward the east.
It is also the main water reservoir of the Middle East, as two great rivers—the Euphrates and the Tigris— originate in its high mountains.
The mean altitude of the Armenian plateau is 5,600 feet (1,700 meter) above sea level.
The designation "Armenia" applies to different entities: a "historical" Armenia, the Armenian plateau, the 1918–1920 U. State Department map of an Armenia, and the current republic of Armenia.
The notion "Armenian culture" implies not just the culture of Armenia but that of the Armenian people, the majority of whom live outside the current boundaries of the republic of Armenia.
Armenians also identify themselves as the people of Ararat/Urartu and of Nairi, and their habitat as nairian ashkharh or yergir nairian .
About one million Armenians live in various European countries, and half a million Armenians live in the Middle East and Africa. When Armenia was under Russian and Soviet rule, Russian constituted the second official language.
The ethnic composition of Armenia's population is 93.3 percent Armenian; 1.5 percent Russian; 1.7 percent Kurdish; and 3.5 percent Assyrian, Greek, and other. The Armenian language is an Indo-European language.
The plateau is bordered on the east by Iran, on the west by Asia Minor, on the north by the Transcaucasian plains, and on the south by the Mesopotamian plains.
The plateau consists of a complex set of mountain ranges, volcanic peaks, valleys, lakes, and rivers.
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They fought the Roman legions and the Sassanid Persians, and in most cases lost.